California refuses to institute teacher performance evalutations, for the children

posted at 8:01 pm on July 16, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

It feels like California is usually the first to rush headlong into whatever latest boondoggle it is that the progressives in the federal government have seized upon as their latest cause célèbre — ObamaCare and solar energy spring to mind — but in a rather rare yet painfully transparent instance, the Democrats in the California government are holding back on an issue on which the Obama administration recommends they move forward.

When it comes the administration’s oh-so-audacious recommendation that states require their public school teachers to go through some form — however meek — of actual performance reviews (gasp!), the White House is for once leading where California dare not follow. And who is it, do you suppose, that is so directly discouraging California politicians from following suit? Via the LA Times:

California has defiantly refused to follow the administration’s lead in grading the performance of teachers and using those measurements to reward the best teachers and punish the worst. The state is one of very few that have told Washington that under no conditions will it put in place the type of teacher evaluation system Obama has championed.

As a result, the administration has not given California a waiver from the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law, leaving thousands of local schools exposed to expensive federal sanctions. …

The obstinacy has frustrated the Education Department, where Secretary Arne Duncan and his top aides have been trying to create a uniform system that can be used to reward the best teachers and move the worst out of the profession. Now they see that drive stalling in the nation’s most populous state. …

The standoff reflects the enduring influence of the California Teachers Assn., which long ago established the state as a bulwark against the national movement to base teacher evaluations more heavily on standardized tests. The CTA, the most generous campaign donor to state officials, maintains a tight grip on Sacramento politics.

The union’s position has been embraced by Gov. Jerry Brown and State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, two old-guard Democrats who are loath to antagonize labor.

California, everybody: Taking the “progress” out of “progressive,” one special-interest serving cave-in at a time.



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Childrens needs the teachers who donts knows the engish any better than they does. It helps with their self-esteem.

VorDaj on July 16, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Salutations – no teacher evalutations!

Seems like a suitable typo for such a story – the end of speling.

Drained Brain on July 16, 2013 at 8:05 PM

California refuses to institute teacher performance evalutations, for the children

One word…

Rachel Jeantel

OK…tow words.

Electrongod on July 16, 2013 at 8:06 PM

tow??

Electrongod on July 16, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Hot Air needs “evalutations” of its headlines.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on July 16, 2013 at 8:08 PM

As much as it disgusts me, I agree with CTA on this one. I’m an elementary teacher in a struggling, low-income district here in the Bay Area, and while you can use standardized tests to look at trends over time, I think it’s a big mistake to decide if a teacher is good or bad depending on a multiple choice test because there are so many factors impacting student learning that we have no control over, and every class is different. One of the 5th grade teachers in my school had a very difficult class this year, with almost all of the resource students in the grade and several very disruptive students, while another had a very studious and easy-going class. The first teacher’s scores will be lower, but that has nothing to do with her ability to teach.

And let me just mention… if a group of teachers have worked together long enough, everyone KNOWS who the bad teachers are. But no one talks about it. And it seems that the worst teachers are the ones who are most active with the local union.

salmonczar on July 16, 2013 at 8:09 PM

tow??

Electrongod on July 16, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Tree, for, fibe, sex, sivin …

VorDaj on July 16, 2013 at 8:09 PM

In addition, CA Dems want private school teachers to be held accountable for any accusations of child molestation, going back 40 years. At the time time, public school staff are fully immune.

But does that apply if a staff member is caught in the act? What if it happened the day before, and and police are called by the parents of the victim?

CA is so totally in the pocket of the teacher unions and others, it’s obvious who really runs that state.

Liam on July 16, 2013 at 8:12 PM

Being a “good” teacher and high standardized test scores have very little to do with each other. A fantastic teacher whose students come from poor homes that don’t provide a supportive environment will be punished under a teacher eval system since those students will do below average on standardized tests no matter how excellent the teaching. On the other hand, the same system can reward a poor teacher whose students have strong environments at home because no matter what those students will do above average on standardized tests.

That’s why teachers hate the system envisoned by Obama. It doesn’t actually evaluate the teacher and their teaching.

AngusMc on July 16, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Back in the 1960s and 1970s the California school systems were the model for the nation. They gave us such fun ideas as classrooms without walls and introduced us to the concept that we are a nation founded by a bunch of dead slave-owning white guys. The state was so powerful that textbooks for the nation were re-written to accomodate the agenda of the CTA.

The state has a lot to be held accountable for. Let them wallow in the filth they have created.

Happy Nomad on July 16, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Well, I can understand. They have collectively dumbed things down so much there really isn’t a realistic way to judge anymore.

tomas on July 16, 2013 at 8:14 PM

AngusMc on July 16, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Exactly.

The unions are pretty furious at Obama, Duncan and co. They feel ‘betrayed.’ Makes me laugh.

salmonczar on July 16, 2013 at 8:17 PM

California holds out against Obama’s education vision
The state has made a rare break with the administration, refusing to follow its lead on evaluating teachers, in a standoff that reflects a union’s lasting influence.
=============================

Sounds like there waiting out on Hopeys term!

Or not!

canopfor on July 16, 2013 at 8:28 PM

tow??

Electrongod on July 16, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Tree, for, fibe, sex, sivin …

VorDaj on July 16, 2013 at 8:09 PM

…LOL!

KOOLAID2 on July 16, 2013 at 8:29 PM

Well, I can understand. They have collectively dumbed things down so much there really isn’t a realistic way to judge anymore.

tomas on July 16, 2013 at 8:14 PM

I’ve got to point out the following thing in the name of fairness. Last time I lived in California, the local school was dealing with what (for lack of a better term) we should call traditional students- English speaking children of Americans. The school also had a huge population of students whose native and almost only language was Spanish- most of which were illegal aliens. A third smaller group were the children of legal immigrants who were marginally bi-lingual. Part of the reason why the CA Teachers Union hate being measured in some objective way is that their very classrooms can set them up for failure.

Happy Nomad on July 16, 2013 at 8:30 PM

40 years of the Dept of Ed and this is the end results. Students that “can’t read cursive” and really bad teachers that are protected by their unions to the detriment of good teachers and all students.

Real teachers are a godsend to any community but sadly enough the unions have destroyed yet another honored proffesion. Is anyone shocked by this? I certainly am not.

D-fusit on July 16, 2013 at 8:41 PM

Creep. true dat, yo.

Affter seeing rachel speak,, I hold out no hope. Do they even teach cursive in CA?

wolly4321 on July 16, 2013 at 8:41 PM

What is with all these waivers?

How can one branch of the government completely disregard the other like this?

p0s3r on July 16, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Creep. true dat, yo.

Affter seeing rachel speak,, I hold out no hope. Do they even teach cursive in CA?

wolly4321 on July 16, 2013 at 8:41 PM

If they do, it must run for half a year. I started learning in second grade, and that’s the only way we wrote anything all through school.

Schools nationwide are pitiful, and it’s not the fault of the teachers. There are truly bad ones, but the good ones are dragged down for sake of them.

Maybe we should get the Feds out of it, segregates the schools again, and let each district choose its own path with minimal oversight from the state capitols. I see no possible fix and bear no hope, either, if the status quo is allowed to remain.

Liam on July 16, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Government by and for the public service unions.

Count to 10 on July 16, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Childrens needs the teachers who donts knows the engish any better than they does. It helps with their self-esteem.

VorDaj on July 16, 2013 at 8:05 PM

English is old school. We’ new school.

CurtZHP on July 16, 2013 at 8:51 PM

salmonczar on July 16, 2013 at 8:09 PM

Salmonczar,

I agree that a teacher’s task can be very difficult. He/she can have a room full of miscreants. e.g. children without fathers, living in crummy neighborhoods with drug dealers and punks of all sorts, students(?) who do not understand English etc.

Having acknowledged the above, I further thought that many of these problems are the direct result of Progressive policies. Said policies have always been supported by……teachers unions. Never has a union rep. stood against illegal immigration, abortion on demand, pornography and government support for slutty behavior or any other culture-destroying activity.

If you have not stood up against these things, then I have no sympathy for the mess you are in.

p.s. You said you know who the bad teachers are sooooo?

FOWG1 on July 16, 2013 at 9:00 PM

How about providing education vouchers so Parents can send their children to schools where they can be taught by the teachers who are best for their particular learning style?

wren on July 16, 2013 at 9:41 PM

I graduated from a predominantly black high school, like 80% black. Even before I understood the left/right paradigm, I knew that I had several liberal teachers that were completely fulla sh*t… So many of the things they told me made no sense whatsoever, and I simply ignored them in favor of what I knew in my head and in my heart to be correct, and I think I still got a pretty good education. Racial incidents were very rare; I think I can recall one or two events.

30 years later, after learning what I now know about liberals, leftism, teacher unions, collectivists, race hustlers, intentional double standards, anti-American indoctrination, the pervasive culture of rap, drugs, and violence, and now having to hear from illiterates like of Rachel Jeantel that are a product of that system, and am determined to never have my child immersed in that sewage.

I drive a taxi. I make surprisingly good money, but it is like a nightmare you can’t wake up from. I really can’t stand it, and some nights it is all I can do to not quit this job in a stuttering rage. But I swear to God Almighty, I’ll spend 20 hours a day in that fuggin car for the rest of my life to make sure my baby goes to a private school where teachers are accountable for their curriculum, their actions, and their results. No unionized intellectual deadbeat will ever influence my little girl.

PointnClick on July 16, 2013 at 9:56 PM

It helps with their self-esteem.

VorDaj on July 16, 2013 at 8:05 PM

That would be “sef-steem”, Mr.Azzhoe.

Solaratov on July 16, 2013 at 9:57 PM

ROFL… Check that headline…

California refuses to institute teacher performance evalutations, for the children

PointnClick on July 16, 2013 at 10:12 PM

I graduated from a predominantly black high school, like 80% black. Even before I understood the left/right paradigm, I knew that I had several liberal teachers that were completely fulla sh*t… So many of the things they told me made no sense whatsoever, and I simply ignored them in favor of what I knew in my head and in my heart to be correct, and I think I still got a pretty good education. Racial incidents were very rare; I think I can recall one or two events.

30 years later, after learning what I now know about liberals, leftism, teacher unions, collectivists, race hustlers, intentional double standards, anti-American indoctrination, the pervasive culture of rap, drugs, and violence, and now having to hear from illiterates like of Rachel Jeantel that are a product of that system, and am determined to never have my child immersed in that sewage.

I drive a taxi. I make surprisingly good money, but it is like a nightmare you can’t wake up from. I really can’t stand it, and some nights it is all I can do to not quit this job in a stuttering rage. But I swear to God Almighty, I’ll spend 20 hours a day in that fuggin car for the rest of my life to make sure my baby goes to a private school where teachers are accountable for their curriculum, their actions, and their results. No unionized intellectual deadbeat will ever influence my little girl.

PointnClick on July 16, 2013 at 9:56 PM

I wish you the best, and that’s an interesting blog you have there.

slickwillie2001 on July 16, 2013 at 10:14 PM

HEY! The Teachers Union PAID for protection. They got PROTECTION.

King Barry should understand that.

Sanctions coming? Yeah, when hell freezes over!

GarandFan on July 16, 2013 at 10:34 PM

I think if they actually show up the first day and don’t quit, that should be step one completed in their favor on their evaluations. Most of us would go nowhere near these “schools” that are havens for the functionally illiterate, the criminally insane, and the socially delinquent.

If you ever get a chance watch Dan Rather’s report on the Detroit Public Schools from a few years ago…Ho-ly Cow!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xypiZ-hqdY

Besides the massive corruption and the part where one teacher never showed up on the first day of school, and then the substitute quit showing up, and in another class a different teacher never showed up, an enlightening scene was where the Detroit PD was telling a group of boys to go to school…of course they were mouthing off to the police.

Yeah, if these young men whom I sure the President would love to have as sons would only have good, fully-evaluated, non-union teachers, they’d be 4.0 at a major university in no time!

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 16, 2013 at 11:06 PM

Evaluations in public screwls need to be like those in colleges: PEER REVIEW evaluations.
I really think it’s the only reasonable way to do this.
Administrators are far too often too busy, corrupt, or incompetent to evaluate.
I know. Bcs it’s happened to me several times.
Some principal or superintendent’s got an axe to grind & they often use their power to punish you.
Of the 11 years I’ve taught in this very small rural area, I’ve been in 4 schools. 2 of them were full of moronic corrupt individuals. And I’m mainly talking about the administrations.
So if in my short tenure I have seen that, can you imagine how pervasive this really is across the nation?
It’s mind boggling.

Badger40 on July 16, 2013 at 11:33 PM

And this nonsense about these tests they give kids that supposedly tells us they’re proficient etc?
I call BS.
One question or two in one subject area answered correctly does not make someone proficient.
And when it’s multiple choice you’ve got a blind squirrel chance of 25% by guessing.
Utter BS these tests are.
Every kid I have ever had with Advanced proficiency has not been able to ever impress me.
I’m not denying they don’t have promise or are intelligent.
But they are certainly not very competent like they and their parents think they are bcs I have to constantly hold their hand.
They refuse to think for themselves.

Badger40 on July 16, 2013 at 11:36 PM

Besides the massive corruption and the part where one teacher never showed up on the first day of school, and then the substitute quit showing up, and in another class a different teacher never showed up, an enlightening scene was where the Detroit PD was telling a group of boys to go to school…of course they were mouthing off to the police.

Yeah, if these young men whom I sure the President would love to have as sons would only have good, fully-evaluated, non-union teachers, they’d be 4.0 at a major university in no time!

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 16, 2013 at 11:06 PM

I’ve heard from many students from INdia that the govt teachers are exactly like this.
The motivated students teach themselves.
Even poor parents scrape together $$ for private schools for their children.
The state education is not worth a damn there either.

Badger40 on July 16, 2013 at 11:38 PM

I’ve heard from many students from INdia that the govt teachers are exactly like this.
The motivated students teach themselves.
Even poor parents scrape together $$ for private schools for their children.
The state education is not worth a damn there either.

Badger40 on July 16, 2013 at 11:38 PM

I believe you, but my impression of most foreign schools is that it’s dog-eat-dog…you either make it or you don’t especially at the upper grades. This doesn’t mean that their teachers are incompetent. When I was coming up my teachers were literally “old school”. They knew from the classes I (and others were) taking that we wanted to go to college…so they treated us accordingly.

Their attitude was that if we didn’t want to do the work or learn…too bad. F. And mommy and daddy wasn’t going to come down and complain-most parents didn’t want to hear it from us kids. If we screwed up a test or the like, it was our fault, never the teacher’s.

And I can’t say that they didn’t teach, or answer questions, or try to help or that they wasted our time.

Good system, because when you’re 21 and in college are your mom and dad really going to complain to the college dean? If you’re in the military they’re going to complain to the drill sergeant? And on the job complain to their kid’s boss?

And there are bad teachers at all levels including college, and there are bad drill sergeants, and there are bad bosses. That’s just the way it is.

Seems that the “bad teachers” nowadays are the ones who try to enforce discipline and expect much learning from their students. The “good teachers” are the ones who are buddies with the kids and hand out As and Bs like candy…and probably real candy, too.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 17, 2013 at 12:01 AM

That’s why so many of its alumni wind up in prison then have to be released by the governor because of over crowdedness

RdLake on July 17, 2013 at 2:56 AM

Is the headline a test?

NotEasilyFooled on July 17, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Oh Dr I certainly agree with.you. I really wish young people and their parents would take responsibility for their kids’ learning. I can only make my teaching so entertaining. But in the end it doesn’t matter. I still have so many kids who don’t do their work.

Badger40 on July 17, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Really, the Big O wants teacher performance-based evaluations? When cows fly. This whole idea is kabuki. Bad teachers are good union dues paying, waiting for retirement, drones. Why would the administration seriously want to get rid of them? They produce illiterate followers who willingly join the low-information-voter corps and perpetuate the progressive agenda. Bad teachers are good for the system.

InTheBellyoftheBeast on July 17, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Oh Dr I certainly agree with.you. I really wish young people and their parents would take responsibility for their kids’ learning. I can only make my teaching so entertaining. But in the end it doesn’t matter. I still have so many kids who don’t do their work.

Badger40 on July 17, 2013 at 8:34 AM

This teacher evaluation stuff isn’t going away, especially here on the right and this is one place where I disagree. The teachers in “good schools” will get high evaluations as opposed to those in the “bad schools” who will get low evaluations. You could swap the teaching staffs and you’ll still get the same results for those schools.

Some of these kids finish their standardized tests in ten minutes or less, and that’s the fault of the teacher?

Many on the right embrace home schooling and private schools. From the data I’ve seen there is no evidence that these are any better alternatives than public schools (in general-some public schools just plain suck and the kids and staff simply aren’t safe).

Also, private schools can report whatever results they like to make themselves look good. Never forget that they are businesses. With education it takes decades to really figure out the results and it takes decades to address those issues.

But, I will say that in general education (including private) has indeed been driven by the Leftists over the last 40 years. I won’t go into any great detail, but the things students used to have to do and learn worked extremely well for our society. It wasn’t broken. Then the Leftists came in with their agenda and really screwed things up. And every time they say they’re going to “fix” education, they go right back to things they forced the system to adopt years earlier that failed.

Ultimately, the parent needs to be the child’s primary instructor in life. But too many parents coddle their kids-they won’t complain about bad teachers if their kids are getting passing grades but not learning anything.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 17, 2013 at 12:33 PM

No problem. We are looking at home school syndicates here in California where we will offer teaching supply’s and educational support to parents who will home school in a multi purpose location with other parents. The education model can’t be beat and wont be. Bottom line is we would rather stick needles in our eyes than to surrender our children’s education, or the lack thereof, in any fashion to the CTA. This simply is not going to happen.

Tangerinesong on July 17, 2013 at 12:55 PM

We need the big one to clean this state and start over

ultracon on July 17, 2013 at 2:44 PM